Federal Grand Jury Indicts Rockwall Man on Prepubescent Child Pornography Offenses
DALLAS—Christian C. Winchel, 48, of Rockwall, Texas, was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury in Dallas on multiple federal child pornography offenses involving prepubescent child pornography, announced Acting U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Specifically, the indictment charges Winchel with one count of production of child pornography, one count of transporting and shipping child pornography, and two counts of possession of prepubescent child pornography. Winchel has been in custody since his arrest on a related federal criminal complaint in early February 2015.
According to documents filed in the case, on February 4, 2015, special agents with FBI’s Dallas Child Exploitation Task Force executed a federal search warrant at Winchel’s home. Law enforcement located and forensically reviewed multiple files of child pornography, including images of prepubescent child pornography.
Count one of the indictment alleges that on July 23, 2014, Winchel used, persuaded, induced, enticed, and coerced a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of that conduct. Count two of the indictment alleges that on February 1, 2013, Winchel transported images and videos of child pornography from Indiana to Texas. Counts three and four of the indictment allege that on February 4, 2015, Winchel possessed images of prepubescent child pornography on an external hard drive and on a thumb drive.
An indictment is an accusation by a grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, the statutory penalty for the production count is not less than 15 years or more than 30 years in prison. The statutory penalty for the transportation count is not less than five years and up to 20 years in federal prison. Each of the possession counts carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison. In addition, each count carries up to a $250,000 fine and up to a lifetime of supervised release.
The matter was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative, which was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ and click on the tab “resources.”
Anyone who knows of someone who may have been victimized in this case is asked to contact the FBI at 972-559-5000.
The FBI’s Dallas Child Exploitation Task Force is conducting the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks is in charge of the prosecution.